Viewing “Diagnosing Gender” and “The Business of Being Born” enhanced my awareness about what the medical profession has perceived as being their responsibility when providing care for women and transsexual individuals.
According to the films, healthcare providers have assumed the responsibility of making the right choice for these populations, a choice congruent with society’s gender stereotypes. This is evident in both health care providers’ interaction with transsexuals and women undergoing hospitalized pregnancies. Individuals seeking hormone therapy must first receive approval from psychiatrists and then prove their successful sex change to a healthcare provider. Similarly, doctors, a predominantly male population, assume the responsibility of making decisions for pregnant women in regards to medical interventions during birth. In both cases, healthcare providers believe it is their responsibility to make decisions for a group of individuals who either supposedly suffer from a mental disorder or simply do not have the intellectual capacity for deciding for themselves.
This sort of reasoning is of great concern. The responsibility of health care providers should be to present patients with their options and make sure that individuals feel comfortable and safe whether or not their situations are congruent with society’s expectations.
The Business of Being Born (2007)
Diagnosis Gender (2011)